The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) held a NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast, in the Year of Indigenous Tourism, which sold out with over 350 tourism and corporate leaders in attendance.
This year’s NAIDOC theme of ‘Heal Country’ calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Tourism offers strong and sustainable opportunities to achieve much under this theme and Queensland’s Year of Indigenous Tourism is giving industry and government a strong focus.
Quandamooka man and QTIC deputy chair Cameron Costello said QTIC had increased the focus on First Nations’ tourism, and events like this helped to bring everyone together to collaborate and bring about change for the future.
“QTIC is a leader in driving Indigenous tourism, starting out through employment and training and now broadened to a comprehensive strategic plan including the development of a peak body for First Nations’ tourism, led by First Nations’ people,” Mr Costello said.
“There are many tourism businesses out there and all over Queensland who are keen to engage with traditional owners – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – to develop a unique and authentic experience for people visiting Queensland.
“Now is the time to promote the collective vision that we have and I think we are on the cusp of something really fantastic and healing.”
Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford shares that ambition and encouraged all Australians to embrace First
“Queensland is enriched by the languages, cultures and diversity of First Nations’ peoples, and it is vital for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to be at the heart of these tourism initiatives,” Minister Crawford said.
“As part of the reframed relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Queensland Government is working with First Nations’ businesses, communities and individuals to create meaningful partnerships.
“I encourage more tourism operators to consider building partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses to provide unique tourism and job opportunities.”
Thought provoking leaders took the stage at the QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast including John Paul Janke co-chair of the National NAIDOC Committee, co-owner of Rork Projects and co-host of SBS/NITV’s ‘The Point’ show.
“I grew up in an era when we learned nothing about Indigenous history, culture or achievement. NAIDOC week is important because it acknowledges our history and celebrates our cultural survival,” Mr Janke said.
“It is important to continue to build on the escalating demand for Indigenous tourism activities and in parallel with the significant growth of Indigenous businesses/owner operators.
“There are opportunities for communities to explore great business ideas on country that empower the community.”
To wrap up a successful event QTIC chief executive officer Daniel Gschwind said, “Tourism has enormous potential to bringer greater understanding and appreciation of our Indigenous wealth to the community and to visitors.”
“Indigenous culture and an Indigenous perspective on our land and history are unique assets that are still undervalued for tourism. Tourism can be an agent for Healing Country”.